Six Survivor cast members “will share in” Darfur suffering by fasting for three days

Five former Survivor cast members–Palau’s Coby Archa, Kimberly Mullen, and Janu Tornell; Vanuatu’s Scout Cloud Lee; and Australia’s Michael Skupin–will fast for the next three days, drinking only water in solidarity as part of the Darfur Fast for Life campaign. (A sixth, Paula’s Wanda Shirk, is fasting and blogging along with the five but isn’t mentioned in a press release.)

They announced in a press release–disingenuously titled “Cast of Survivor Announces…,” as if they somehow represent the hundreds of people who’ve appeared on the show over 18 seasons–that what they went through on the show “pales in comparison to the survivors in Darfur who have been systematically hunted, terrorized and driven from their homes and villages orchestrated by the Sudanese government through rebel army attacks and aerial bombings,” and say that as a result, they will “come together as a group to begin a water-only fast and to let the people of Darfur to know they are not forgotten. We see their suffering and we will share in it, if even in a small way, taking up the baton from Mia Farrow, Sir Richard Branson and many others around the world.”

From what little I know, the situation in Darfur is horrific and demands international action, but this three-day (Just three? How about 39?) water fast strikes me as a “look-at-me, aren’t I compassionate” reason to issue a press release that includes detailed bios about the five, including their current relationship status. How about doing something that might actually help people in Darfur?

Then again, maybe attention will help, and they certainly got mine.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.